We just came back from Hangzhou recently. We were there for 5 nights and stayed 3 nights in Hyatt and 3 nights in Banyan Tree. I have posted a separate review on Hyatt.
Banyan Tree is on the western part of Hangzhou, a good 30-45 mins from West Lake. The grounds of Banyan Tree is beautiful as usual. But my husband commented that he still prefer the setting at Banyan Tree at Lijiang which was more attractive and cheerful when compared to the hotel in Hangzhou. I think it is due to the dull colours of the typical Jiangnan architectural style of the building. The grounds at Banyan Tree Hangzhou are nonetheless peaceful and much welcomed after the hustle and bustle of WestLake.
The Room - we stayed at a premier water terrace. It was beautiful and extremely spacious. It had a good size living room, bedroom with an in-room bathtub, a huge bathroom with separate shower and WC and a wooden Chinese bathtub, and finally it even had an in-room massage room. Unfortunately the in room massage room has one bed only, so we did not use it and went to the spa instead which had a massage room that could accomodate both of us at the same time. And of course, there was a balcony that looked into the beautiful grounds. The room was clean, well made up always.
The Restaurants - We had breakfast daily at the Waterlight Court. No complains here. Good dim sum and congee and western breakfast choices. Freshly squeezed fruit juices. On one of the days, I commented that the dim sum was not fresh. The waitress immediately alerted the chef who did a personal taste test of the rest of the dim sum at the counter.
We had a western set dinner at the Waterlight Court as well. Excellent food. The dinner was part of our room package. I had expected a simple set dinner, but no such thing! We were given a private room, and had a 6 course set dinner, which came with appetiser (salmon), soup (lobster bisque), first main course (king prawns), second main course (wagyu beef steak), dessert and coffee/tea. Service was also excellent.
Tea at Jiu Xian was included in our package too. Again, not just simple tea and sandwiches. It was the complete elaborate tea set that they were serving for paying guests. It came with cakes, cookies, fruits, sandwiches and coffee or tea.
After our heavy tea, we had a simple a-la-carte dinner at the Chinese restaurant, Bai Yun the second night. Food was also good. We had rice with stir fried ladies fingers, roasted pigeon and a well known local dish, Westlake Vinegar Fish. The food was good as well.
The Spa - We had 2 spa treatments each on the 2 days that we were there. The first day, we each tried the oriental bath (with scrub) followed by massage (Island dew for me and Swedish for my husband. They were great. We felt so pampered and ambience was wonderful. So we went back the second day for the summer promotion yoga massage with essential oil bath. The yoga massage was essentially like Thai massage. A lot of stretching and makes one feel very relaxed after the treatment. We had a wonderful time at the spa.
The conceirge/tour desk was very helpful in giving us directions to Xixi Wetland and suggesting what to do and how to go about the place and what to see without pressure of us having to use their tour services.
To be fair, the price we paid for the 2 nights Romantic Hangzhou package at Banyan Tree was way more expensive then the room we paid for at Hyatt. But the quality is also different. While we will still stay at Hyatt for sightseeing around Hangzhou and Hyatt will be a great place for a good night sleep, we will choose Banyan Tree if it is to relax and to pamper ourselves.
All-in-all, we were happy that we decided to spend the last 2 nights of our short vacation in Banyan Tree. It was a great relaxing end to otherwise hectic sightseeing in Hangzhou in the hot and humid summer. In particular, I must say that I am impressed that meals provided as part of the package was of good quality. They did not just give inferior or low quality set meals just because they are part of a package. So again, Banyan Tree did not disappoint and we will definitely consider Banyan Tree again when the next opportunity arise.
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- Also Known As:
- Banyan Tree Hangzhou Hotel Hangzhou